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3 Nov 2021

A wedding present to Ben Lawers

The Gourlay family are keen hikers | Photo: Diana and Malcolm Gourlay
A couple from Killin has donated over a thousand pounds from their wedding guests to the Trust, to help protect and enhance natural habitats after a chance meeting with a ranger.

Newlyweds Diana and Malcolm Gourlay are keen hikers, and were saddened to see newly planted trees damaged and litter left by campers on a walk in Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. It was just then that they had a chance meeting with Helen Cole, Property Manager and Senior Ranger. Helen spoke with them about the work the Trust does to restore the habitats of Ben Lawers. This meeting with Helen made Diana and Malcolm rethink their wedding plans – and they decided to ask guests for donations to protect and restore nature on Ben Lawers.

Bride, Diana Gourlay, said: ‘It warmed our hearts to hear about the hard work that the National Trust for Scotland puts into restoring and caring for a place we truly love. We decided there and then to ask for donations instead of wedding presents. In total our loved ones have helped us to raise £1,300 for Ben Lawers.’

Diana and Malcolm Gourlay on their wedding day | Photo: Diana and Malcolm Gourlay

Their wedding, like many couples’, had to be delayed due to the pandemic. They rescheduled to this summer, with an intimate ceremony at Inveraray Castle. Now they’ve returned from their honeymoon and are back to hillwalking through Ben Lawers. Groom, Malcolm Gourlay, said: ‘We love this place. In June we did an epic 18-hour walk through Ben Lawers and the nature reserve. We’re so pleased our friends and family have helped us to care for and protect this place that’s so important to us.’

Helen Cole, Property Manager and Senior Ranger for Ben Lawers, said: ‘Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve is home to rare plant species and important habitats. It’s designated as a site of European importance for several scarce and declining habitats, but the National Trust for Scotland has been pioneering work to conserve and restore these. The generosity and love of people like Malcolm and Diana gives this vital work a great boost, and so we would like to thank them very much.’

We protect and maintain many of Scotland’s most loved places and spaces with help from our members, volunteers and kind donors like Malcolm and Diana’s wedding guests. Thank you.

Read more about the conservation work taking place at Ben Lawers

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